For the second time this winter, Jonathan Law’s 6-foot 2-inch rugged senior center Nick Toto poured in 32 points in the Golden Eagles’ 73-47 Southern Connecticut Conference—Hammonasset Division victory over Guilford on Tuesday night.
He had also rung up the same career-best number of points earlier in the season against Kaynor Tech of Waterbury, but this time he also hauled in a personal best 28 rebounds. On top of all that, Toto also recorded five blocks, three assists, and a steal.
According to Law Coach Mike Hoggatt, “Guilford had no height and could not handle Nick — even when he started to go outside and hit some mid-range jump shots.”
Toto scored the first seven points of the game but Guilford came back and cut its deficit to only three points (13-10) after the first stanza. The Lawmen also received 12 points from guard Mark Elliott, who missed the first 10 games of the season as he recovered from a football injury. This was his second game he played and gave the Eagles a much needed offensive lift in the back court.
Hoggatt added, “Mark scored eight of his 12 points during the second quarter as we turned a 13-10 first quarter lead into a 29-17 halftime lead. Mark is able to go strong to the hoop and give us another reliable scorer.”
Knowing that his team had built up a 14 point halftime lead the first time it played the Indians but then saw that lead almost completely disappear in the third quarter, Hoggatt was determined not to endure another third quarter let down in this rematch.
Outscoring Guilford by two points (24-22), the Devonites took a 53-39 lead after 24 minutes and then ran up a 22-8 edge in the final session.
“We know they’d come out strong in the second half, but we continued to jam the ball inside to Nick. In addition, Aaron Gambardella did a good defensive job on Jake Battapalgia, who is their best scorer. Aaron limited him to only 15 points,” Hoggatt said. “In addition to playing great defense, we rebounded well so we were able to run and score some transition points. With five minutes left in the game, we had built up a 20 point lead.”
Hoggatt rated this outing as one of his team’s top 2 efforts this season. The Devonites game against Foran back in January was Law’s other outstanding effort.
With this win, Law upped its record to 3-9 (2-3 in divisional action.) Guilford dropped to 1-11, 0-5.
The Lawmen visit Foran on Saturday night at 7.